Should you be eating more garlic and onion?
Health food gold, or flop?
Botanical name: Allium sativum
Botanical name: Allium cepa L.
Both garlic and onion are derived from the same plant genus known as Allium, which is shared amongst its close relatives, including scallions, shallots, leeks and chives. While onions and garlic may seem bland on the outside, they pack tons of flavor and nutritional benefits.
Allium vegetables are known to be the richest sources of organosulfur molecules in the human diet. These compounds are what lend garlic its heady aroma and also contribute numerous health benefits, particularly in gastric cancer prevention. The sulphurous compounds have been studied for their ability to inhibit cancerous cells and block tumours by slowing DNA replication. The ability of organosulfur molecules to stunt tumour cell proliferation is still being widely studied. Garlic, in particular, is also known to help with lowering LDL cholesterol levels by about 10 to 15 percent.
Allium veggies are also known to be powerhouses for gut health, as they contain prebiotics that feed good gut bacteria and maintain a balanced gut microbiome. However, those with FODMAP sensitivities, are advised against consuming garlic and onion. This is due the fact that they cause digestive upset once they reach the small intestines where they are poorly absorbed.
These are just some of our favorite ways of using onions and garlic
- Pickled pearl onions make a delicious garnish for classic martinis.
- Go for a slow-cooked garlic confit.
- Make garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil.
- Prepare caramelized onions for your pastrami chicken sandwich.
- Whip up a hearty French onion soup.
- Make a garlic-packed chimichurri sauce or pesto.
- Purple onions and delicious chicken livers.